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Diversity and Dialogue Dinner

The Atlantic Institute is pleased to announce the new Diversity and Dialogue Dinner event! This represents a partial reformatting of our annual Atlantic Peace and Dialogue Awards Dinner toward spotlighting community endeavors more comprehensively. We have been recognizing outstanding community organizations for over 10 years, and this year is no different. We have narrowed down to what we feel exemplify the key tenets of the Atlantic Institute's mission: Community Efforts and Peace through Dialogue.

Publicly recognizing these organizations encourages them to continue in their efforts to lead others in mutual understanding and educates those in attendance on their community organizations. It is an honor to recognize these organizations each year.

These two organizations have been selected for their continuing contributions to good will and dedication to fostering communication between disparate groups of people in the Upstate. Members of these organizations and their guests are invited to a special community dinner where they can share and educate those in attendance about their work.


This year there are two recognition awards this year:

Peace and Dialogue Category:

preview full preview lightbox MNV logo sm for emailThe recipient in this category must hold some leadership role in government, business or nonprofit and have used their position

to create an environment that encourages diversity and cooperation between individuals from a variety of backgrounds,

cultures, or faith traditions.

This year's Peace and Dialogue Recipient is My Neighbor's Voice a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring dialogue across

cultural and ideological boundaries.


 We are proud to recognize these vital community organizations by shining the spotlight on them for the community


Public and Community Service Category:

preview full preview full Church Logo 3 with Poe Mill Trans 2This individual or group must have made a large contribution to their local community through involvement in community service,

organized projects, and/or recruited diverse individuals to participate in community service projects.

This year's Public and Community Service Recipient is SEARCHlight.

The SEARCHlight Initiative is an organized group of dedicated seniors working in partnership with United Housing Connections (UHC), a 501(c)3, to raise funds to build permanent supportive housing for those in our community suffering from chronic homelessness and mental illness. To-date they have raised nearly 1 million dollars to fund the Church St Place Project – 36 studio units modeled after UHC’s Reedy Place.


Ramadan is April 23rd - May 23rd this year!

Due to the COVID-19, Ramadan will look very different this year. Not only will it be different for the Muslims that are observing this holiday, but also for all of the Non-Muslims that are typically invited as guests to share in the festivities, food, and laughter of the major social aspect of Ramadan.

We have come up with a few creative ways to practice social distancing and still maintain some social-ness and shared hospitality of those from different faiths and cultures.

If you are not on our mailing list, please make sure that you sign up below or that you like our Facebook pages to stay up to date on all we have planned! The month of Ramadan is typically a packed calendar for us!


We are so grateful to those that are opening up their homes to share with us during their fast breaking time during this holy month of Ramadan. We have enjoyed being "virtual guests" Many of us have had the opportunity to be physical guests during the Holy month of Ramadan and we know that this year it's been an adjustment to not be able to get together. We look forward to ending the month of Ramdan with a few more.

We would like to thank Dr Aydin for holding the last Iftar of Ramadan at his house for those that weren't able to make any of the other Iftars and for sharing in this special month with all of us.





This year our Greenville and Columbia Peace and Dialogue Award Dinner features a very important Guest Speaker that is flying in all the way from Washington state. We invite you to come and hear his important message.

Guest Speaker: Rais Bhuiyan

RaisBhuiyan Bio January2018In the days following 9/11, Rais and two others in Texas were shot by someone whose hatred of “the other” – in this case, Muslims – was so intense that he gunned down three innocents, two of whom died. This killer, Mark Stroman, was executed for his crime, but not before he grew to understand that his assumptions regarding “the other” were wrong, and he urged Rais to continue battling hatred and prejudice to “make sure there is not another Mark Stroman.” In an era of racism and bigotry, this story drives home a critical lesson: once you get to know “the other”, it’s hard to hate them.

The truly inspiring message of this story, however, is the “transformative power of mercy and forgiveness”. Rais not only forgave his would-be killer, but he also fought to spare his life. Although he was ultimately unsuccessful in this quest, Rais has dedicated his life to countering hate and violence by challenging audiences around the world to learn about “others” rather than accepting stereotypes. I share his belief that, if we do this, “together, we can create a society that is more merciful, empathetic, and accepting” – a path forward for creating a world without hate.


As well we will be honoring three awardees in each community with:

Peace and Dialogue Award, Public and Community Service Award, Media and Communications Award


Greenville venue:

Furman University
Younts Conference Center
3300 Poinsett Hwy
Greenville, SC

Start Time: 6:30

Table of 7 is $400
Individual Ticket price: $60

Dress is Business attire

Book signing at end of event by Rais Bhuiyan

RSVP here.



The Month of Ramadan:

During the month of Ramadan, the volunteers gathered to disperse approximately 200 meals to the community. We distributed these meals from the Phillis Wheatley Center in Greenville, SC. We were able to serve those that drove up as well as walked up. It was great to see so many smiling faces! We look forward to partnering with the Phillis Wheatley Center in the future. 


West Columbia Center Pot Luck of Thanks

On Monday, November 20, 2017 the West Columbia Center had a potluck style dinner and listened to Chief Bill Harris from the Catawba Indian Nation who graciously spoke on theme, "What Native Americans have taught us about Thanksgiving." It was a very insightful night and many people enjoyed the conversation and questions.